12. Polygonius


Mika looked up from the dirt and saw a man with a long grey beard and a strange flopping hat atop his head. He looked so familiar, somehow. Just when Mika realized the strange figure looked like all the rest of the people in the crazy town, the old man began to speak.

"Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you. I'm so sorry for what's happened," he cried. "It's all my fault!"

Mika hated to see anyone cry. "Please don't cry. What's the matter, sir?"

"If you're sure you don't hate me..."

"Of course not!"

"You can call me Polygonious then," the old man sniffled. "It's all my fault..." he began to cry again.

Mika scratched his head. "Um, I'll listen if you'd like to talk, sir, I mean Polygonious."

"Well...All those people you saw... They're really me..."

Mika didn't understand.

"The keys!" Polygonious sighed. "I was always afraid to be anything, so I let them all out with the keys. Please, you won't hate me now, will you? Those are all my hidden personalities. I'm such an awful person." Polygonious' eyes filled with tears. "Oh what am I to do? I've caused so much trouble."

"Make them come back," Mika suggested.

"How! Oh I'm so ashamed of them... Of what I am."

"But everyone has many sides to them," Mika offered. "We act differently at different times and with different people. Don't be afraid or ashamed. You just have to learn to control them, and show them when you want to."

"No...I couldn't do it. I'm just an old fool!"

"You have only to see that you are and you become," Mika found himself saying, and he had to think a moment to remember where he had heard those words before.

Polygonious sniffled. "You think I can do it?"

"I know you can!"

With Mika's help, Polygonious made every one of his hidden personalities come drifting back through the walls, back into their smiling owner.

"I did it!"

Mika just smiled.

"Oh, I'm so grateful to you," Polygonious laughed. "Now I can go back to being with people. And I won't be ashamed that I'm...Well that I'm me, with all my good sides, and all the bad."

Then Mika remembered his own troubles. "Polygonious, have you ever heard of Gumba the Wise? I'm on a Quest, and I really must be on my way to see him."

"Gumba! Why Gumba's the one who gave me the keys. He'd be happy to know how I've turned out. But then, he probably knows. Yes, Gumba the Wise. Why, he's not more than a few days from here."

Mika trembled with excitement. At last his quest would be over. No more searching.

"Of course you must be eager to be on your way, but please take this before you go. I don't need them anymore!!" Polygonious smiled and handed Mika a ring of keys. "Someday you may need them to find a part of yourself you're hiding from."

Mika thanked the old man, and placed the keys on his belt. Then after helping Polygonious gather his belongings together the two went their separate ways -- Polygonious towards civilization, and Mika towards the mountains his new friend had told him was the home of the great Gumba the Wise.


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by Robert Alan Silverstein
Avstar Publishing (2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1492114291
$3.99 paperback

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